While most adventure games feature protagonists who are upstanding citizens acting for the greater good, they also involve a fair bit of underhanded manipulation and even rampant kleptomania – the end justifies the means, right? But what if your goals weren't so noble, your intentions not nearly as pure? This is the moral dilemma at the heart of The Low Road, an upcoming indie point-and-click adventure from XGen Studios set in the 1970s world of corporate espionage.
In 1976, Noomi Kovacs (recently graduate of the ominously-acroynmed LeCarre Institute for Exceptional Spies – or L.I.E.S. for short) is hired by the Penderbrook Motors’ Division of Outside Intelligence. It's not a great job, being "confined to an office and underestimated by her gruff supervisor—a disgraced former government agent named Turn," but Noomi has much higher ambitions. To fulfill them, she will need to "exploit her colleagues and surroundings to help further her dream of becoming a globetrotting secret agent." Once operating in the field, however, both "Noomi and Turn begin to realize that their company’s dogged pursuit of their rivals extends to something far more sinister than 'healthy competition' and the two will be forced to reconsider the paths they’ve chosen." In a world where nice guys finish last, "lying, blackmail, and emotional manipulation will become Noomi and Turn’s greatest assets."
The Low Road features a distinctive visual style inspired by gouache paintings and 1970s television, accompanied by an "original score of swirling psychedelia and dusty Americana." Players will control both agents in carrying out top-secret missions, a "fully-voiced cast of spies and civilians joining you and thwarting you in the dark comedy of corporate espionage." The game's more traditional genre elements include numerous puzzles to solve and branching conversations meant to "challenge the player’s deductive and intuitive abilities."
Would-be auto spies don't have much longer to wait, as The Low Road is due out for Windows and Mac on April 20th. While you wait, you can snoop around the game's official website to see if you can dig up any additional details.